How to Stop Al-Qaeda

Found this old post on Micheal Tinker’s blog which he got off Alan Hirsh’s blog which it turns out he got off Brant Hanson’s blog… who it turns out is the author! So it has been around… but very clever and thought provoking satire on the church

So, in the service of national defense, I propose the following, in order to effectively neutralize the movement. Let’s get Al-Qaeda to…

1) Complexify the message

Right now, it’s so simple, it can pass from one to the next, and be easily grasped by the uneducated, the young — everyone. This is dangerous, because it’s highly contagious, and people on the street feel capable of enlisting others in the cause.

2) Construct a less “flat”, more hierarchical structure

Currently, small, underground groups can move nimbly and autonomously, complicating efforts to thwart them. A more regimented, stratified approach, where some members are left thinking, “I can’t know enough to do anything” would bring the movement to a halt.

3) Foster “expert” culture, and barriers to entry to the expert class

Promote the idea that the message is not only highly complex, but only some can truly understand it. Construct extensive barriers to entry to the presumed expert class. Promote idea that cells lacking a certified member of expert class, it is not equipped to be activated.

4) Focus on knowledge, rather than doing

Complexification and expert-class development will make cells spend immense amounts of time studying the work, even debating theories of the work, rather than doing it. Better yet…

5) Equate STUDYING the work with the work itself

The cells are called to ACT, of course. But if we can convince operatives that the work, itself, is in trying to understand the complexity of the work? They’ll be effectively neutered. We need to get them to spend large amounts of time in study, gathering to study, believing they don’t know enough, hiring new experts to teach them again and again, and attending teaching events.

They’ll actually believe they’re doing their work when they attend events held by experts. This will render the cell, and the whole movement, harmless! Convince them that the most radicalized, militant among them are merely called to bring other non-activated members to the cell events.

6) Sabotage cell multiplication

VERY important! Cells that operate under simple principles, with motivated operatives, devoted to multiplication? Very, very dangerous, fast-growing, and pop-culture endangering. We must stop this in its tracks, and this is done in multiple ways:

A) Foster egos and small-time celebrity. By convincing operatives to set up individual fiefdoms, fewer autonomous cells will be activated. Rather, the emphasis will be on building larger individual cells with numerous unactivated members.

B) Make the basic structure highly difficult to replicate. Al-Qaeda cells currently are, by necessity, simply-structured and easily replicated. Propagate idea that for cells to begin, planning, experts and capital must be simultaneously accumulated. Expert motivational speakers will be necessary, plus paid staff with highly specific training and talents. Operatives will see massively “successful” large cells, and attempt to duplicate them, with very limited success because of the huge inputs required. This will greatly inhibit growth.

C) Convince philosophically-aligned, but non-active, members to choose from among most entertaining, high quality, cells that offer services for them. Not only will this engender a harmless, internal focus, it will require IMMENSE amounts of resources and energy.

7) Make operatives really, really busy.

Replace simple, animating mission with lengthy lists, charts, and programs for cell maintanance. Convince them that this institutional maintenance is, actually, the mission, itself.

This will leave them will no actual time for conducting actual mission.

8) Get Al-Qaeda to seek governmental approval.

Offer tax incentives if necessary. The larger cells, requiring large edifices, will also require tremendous amounts of capital. This will also allow a measure of control, to threaten the cell’s tax status, thereby threatening funds for internal programs, when necessary.

Better: They’ll consider actual operational cells that exist without this governmental approval to be, themselves, invalid!

9) Co-opt Al-Qaeda with the larger culture.

Once members are convinced that cell maintenance and study are actually their “mission”, the rest of their lives can be harmlessly integrated with the culture at large. They’ll be indistinguishable from non-members, and, because of their new understanding of “mission”, effectively equivalent to non-members.

10) Convince members to wear Al-Qaeda t-shirts with funny sayings and stuff.

Mission accomplished.

It’ll work to thwart an evil message. It even works with the good ones.

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~ by John on April 23, 2008.

2 Responses to “How to Stop Al-Qaeda”

  1. Very smart idea, but is it simply enough to do the opposite of this to see the Church be effective in spreading the Gospel?

    The reason I ask, is that I’m feeling motivated to make sure that people get proper teaching. Soo many Christians here in Wellington are religious and dutifully go to church on Sundays, but most of them have no clue what the Bible says. They bindly follow their leader and have no clue.
    The image I have is of the Israelites standing at the foot of Mt Sinai, content to have Moses talk to God, but not wanting to talk to God themselves.

    Don’t know the answer. Just have loads of questions.

  2. Proper teaching is crucial D. I guess the whole thing I am thinking about is the structure within which that needs to happen. Does the structure support the mission? Too often we may want to teach the Bible faithfully but our medium of religiosity is shouting louder than our message. So what a lot of guys are thinking about is how can we simplify the structure so that we clearly can hear the message and get on with the mission that God has given us

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